From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)
William H Bubber Hall.pdf

Hall, William Henry, Sr. "Bubber"

(born: January 17, 1911  -  died: May 24, 1984) 

William H. Hall was a nationally ranked tennis player from Louisville, KY. In 1937 and 1940, Hall and Flora Lomax from Detroit won the mixed doubles at the American Tennis Association (ATA) National Championship Tournaments. The ATA was formed in 1916, the oldest African American sports organization in the United States. In 1942, Hall and Lomax won the New York State mixed doubles championship. In 1943, Hall and Babe Jones won the New York State men's doubles championship. 

Back in Kentucky in 1939, William Hall was the newly appointed Louisville Supervisor of Recreation for Negroes. The following year, he was the African American tennis champion (men's singles) in Louisville. He and his fellow team members went to Lexington, KY to compete in the Negro tennis stars match held at Douglas Park. Hall was hailed as the lead player who had held the Tri-State Negro Tennis (singles) crown. The team members from Louisville were Hall, Cleve Cowan, Alonzo Calhoun, Ed Smith, Freddie Hines, and Coach Ed Smith. The team members for Lexington were Albert Ray, Jr., William Madden, Charles Livisay, Rice Stone, Leonard Mills, and Coach/Player Ages Bryant. 

The following year William Hall gave up the position of Louisville Negro Recreation Supervisor; James Cayce replaced him. Hall continued his tennis career and in 1941 was ranked 15th in the nation among African American tennis players. Two years later, Hall was working at the Mengel Box Company in Louisville when he enlisted in the U.S. Army on January 8, 1943. According to his draft registration card, Hall was 6 feet 3.5 inches tall and weighed 204 pounds. He was in the Army for almost two years, receiveing his honorable discharge December 8, 1944.

After his military service, he continued his tennis career. In 1955 he participated in the Louisville Public Parks Tennis Tournament.

In addition to his national tennis career, Hall was a Jefferson County Deputy Sheriff, schoolteacher, and postal worker. He had served as president of the Alumni Association of Fisk University and was a founding member of the Louisville Tennis Club. The W. H. Hall Educational Fund was established in his honor.

William H. "Bubber" Hall was born in Louisville, where he died in 1984. He was the son of Walter and Nellie Valentine Hall and the husband of Dorothy Smith Hall.

Sources: "William "Bubber" Hall ...," The Courier-Journal, 5/17/1939, section 2, p. 5; "Tennis stars clash," The Lexington Leader, 7/12/1940, p. 7; Victor K. Perry, "Highlights of Negro sports year recalled," The Courier-Journal, 12/31/1940, section2, p. 6; "Hall rates high on tennis list," The Courier-Journal, 5/6/1941, section 2, p. 4; V. K. Perry, "Hall wins tennis title," The Courier-Journal, 8/30/1942, section 4, p. 5; William Henry Hall WWII Draft Registration Card (Ancestry); U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File (Ancestry);  Edward Q. Adams, "Louisville netters in Wilberforce Tournament," The Courier-Journal, 8/18/1946, section 4, p. 4; "Bridge captures Central Park title," The Courier-Journal, 7/11/1955, section 2, p. 5; Kentucky Birth Index (Ancestry); and "Louisville Area Deaths: William H. "Bubber" Hall," The Courier-Journal, 5/27/1984, p. B16.

Kentucky County & Region

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Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: Ray, Albert Burton, Jr.
NKAA Entry: Livisay, Charles H., Sr.
NKAA Source: Courier-Journal [Louisville] (newspaper)

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“Hall, William Henry, Sr. "Bubber",” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed April 16, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-08-19 12:50:21